Are you ready and willing to serve?

February 15, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
(Luke 12:35 (NIV))

Is your lamp burning?

Is the fire inside of you still as hot and bright as it was when you first believed?

Are you ready to respond to God’s call whenever and wherever it may come?

It is human nature to get excited and then have the excitement slowly fade away. It is human nature to get tired of waiting on the sidelines. Sadly enough, that is what too many members of the Body of Christ have been doing. We have been waiting on the sidelines! We have been listening for God’s call in the midst of the noise of the world and we have let the world interfere with our ability to hear clearly!

Be still, and know that I am God,
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

It is my prayer that you will take the time to sit in God’s presence, to take the time to let the distractions of the world fade away until you find yourself feeling the warmth of God’s love like you have never felt it before. When you feel the closeness to God, then you will be better equipped to know God’s own heart. You will be better equipped to listen for that still, small voice. You will be better equipped to be able to say:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

Are you ready to say, “Here am I. Send me!”

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the Holy Spirit still active in the church?

May 16, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
(Acts 2:1-4 (NIV))

Do you believe that this actually happened?

We, as the Body of Christ, for the most part believe what is written about past events, yet, how many of us believe that this could happen today? We rationalize and say that what was done was to get the attention of the people so that God’s Word could be spread. Do you believe that God’s Word has been spread to the point where He no longer needs to get the attention of people?

Think about that. Is the generation alive today the generation that was alive at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that particular Pentecost? God needs to get the attention of a completely new generation, so why do many believers feel that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit is no longer needed? Why would God not show His power to every generation? Why would God grow silent and expect us to do what He is doing?

To me, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit serves multiple purposes, but two stand out to me at this moment in time. The first purpose is to show His power to a fallen world. I honestly do not think that the people who witnessed the first outpouring left Jerusalem and never spoke of what they saw to their friends. They talked to anyone and to everyone telling them what had happened! The second purpose that I see in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the empowerment of the church. We need to be bold in sharing what we know to be truth. We are to be bold so that we can answer the questions of those who see and do not understand. We are to be bold when we approach the throne of God! God doesn’t want us to be timid in our faith. He doesn’t want us to be lukewarm in our faith. He wants us to be bold and to share His Word.

Do you feel that God is still working in the world? If you do not, why would God turn His back on the generations since the first outpouring? Why would God abandon the very people whom Jesus came to save? Why would God not equip His church to do His Will?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8 (NIV))

Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit as a helper. Personally, I think we still need all the help we can get!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you remember about your early faith?

May 4, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The word of the LORD came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

” `I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.
(Jeremiah 2:1-2 (NIV))

God told Jeremiah to tell the people of Jerusalem that He remembered the devotion of their youth. I want you to think about that simple statement.

Looking back at your faith when it was new, have you lost your zeal? Have you lost your passion for Jesus? Have you gone from an “Amen” type of faith to a “whatever” type of faith? Have you lost the fire that used to burn so bright and so hot?

To be honest with you, life is hard. It is so easy to lose sight of the fire and the passion when you are told by everything in your life that you have to take care of other things first. It is difficult to maintain the fire when you are being beaten down by the world. It is difficult to maintain the passion when you have to focus on your job for so many hours a day. Life can, and often does leave you exhausted.

What if Jesus were to say Jeremiah 2:1-2 to you. Would you listen to the things that are not being said and realize that Jesus is asking you what happened?

Think about that for a moment!

Jesus did not go anywhere. He is still right there. It is we who have let the relationship take a back seat.

Sometimes I think that the saddest words in the English language are, “I remember . . . “ They imply that something has changed and not for the better.

What do you remember about your early faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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When you focus on the signs, you miss Jesus!

March 23, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
(Acts 2:19-20 (NIV))

Many people, including myself, believe that we are seeing things that indicate that the time of the Gentiles is coming to an end. This indicates that we are close to seeing the end times that are so frequently written of in God’s Word. These end times will usher in the worst times that this world has ever seen. It will also eventually lead to Jesus returning in the clouds and splitting the Mount of Olives.

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
(Zechariah 14:4 (NIV))

I often see things in the news or read things that make me wonder what this means and what sign it points to. It is human nature to try to figure things out. As we are told, we are to know the signs off the times. Some people make a study of these signs a full time endeavor. It is fascinating to try to understand how God is working.

I want to stop and ask a question.

Have you ever loved something so much that you studied it, practiced it, or played it so much that you soon lost sight of your first love? In other words, you became so engrossed in the details that you lost sight of the reason you loved it to begin with.

Don’t let your study of the signs make you lose sight of Jesus. After all, He is the reason the signs will be and are happening.

There is an old saying that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Step back and see Jesus in the details. Step back and see Jesus in the moment.

I know that the signs that are still unfolding will come to pass. How do I know this?

We are about to celebrate the greatest sign of all this Sunday. Without the resurrection of Easter, we would have no hope that the signs of His Second Coming would ever come true!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What do you truly need?

February 10, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
(Revelation 3:17-18 (NIV))

Do you need anything?

The world has so many distractions, so many things that we consider to have great material value. We spend all of our lives struggling to accumulate these material possessions and we call them wealth. We look at gold and long for its accumulation. We look at fancy cars and long to own and drive the ones that make people turn their heads as we go by. We want big homes so that we can impress people, and then we have to build a wall and put up a gate to keep out the very people whom we want to impress.

In all of this, we focus on things that are of this world and can easily be taken away from us. We focus on what will make us look better than our neighbor. We focus on what will cause our family, friends and neighbors to devise plans to take what we have.

What good will a big bank account do you when you are standing before God? What good will a huge home do you when you are standing before God?

What is truly important to God? Does God care about your riches or does He care about your eternal salvation? He did not send Jesus to die on the cross so that we can accumulate more earthly wealth. God sent Jesus to show us how to attain true wealth, a wealth so great that it lasts all of eternity.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
(Mark 8:36 (NIV))

What is truly important to you?

What do you truly need?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Stay focused on Jesus!

March 18, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
(2 Peter 3:10-11 (NIV))

I was given a phrase today that just will not let me go.

Mindless entertainment.

Think about that. I also prayed to know what verses to write about and I stopped on these. At first I did not see the correlation, but then I read the passages again.

We ought to live holy and godly lives!

We all have an the idea that we live as closely as humanly possible to how God calls us to live. We pray. We attend church. We read our Bibles. We try to treat other as Jesus would. We realize that no one is capable of living a perfect life and we try as hard as we can to follow what Jesus has taught us.

Still, we have those moments.

We all have them.

Moments when we drop our guard and simply allow the world to creep in. These moments often are a result of a desire to relax, to simply let go and enjoy something mindless for a little while. We treat our minds, our spirits and our bodies the same. All three seek a rest now and then. It is what we fill this time with that is often the problem, especially for our mind and spirit. If we are not careful, when we let our guard down, the things that we allow to fill us during these times can be very detrimental.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
(Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV))

In other words, know God’s Word so well that even when you are in need of a rest, the mindless entertainment will not plant seeds of wickedness within your heart. I am sure that you are all familiar with the saying, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” Don’t let the world’s garbage change what is in your heart. Stay focused on Jesus!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Would you be convicted?

June 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

You shall not murder.
(Exodus 20:13 (NIV))

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
(Matthew 5:21-22(NIV))

God clearly defined for us that to take another life is a sin, yet, how many times have we said things in anger that could convict us just the same? We may have learned to put up a front to society and to ourselves, yet, our thoughts can be just as sinful, if not more so, than our actual actions.

Sin is a matter of the heart. A heart that longs to do the Will of God will still sin, but it will not be as sinful as someone who does not long to be like God. Their thoughts will focus on God and the things that are righteous in nature. Someone who does not focus on God focuses on themselves. I have heard it said that sin has as its basis the human desire to be at the center of all things. Sin focuses on “me” and what “I” can get from things quickly. It is this type of an attitude that makes a person’s thoughts stray from what God would have you think about. “Me” turns to anger and anger into actions. The only difference is the physical act, yet, the heart still had the very same intentions. Perhaps it is the intention that convicts us of our sins.

What thoughts have you had recently? Would you be convicted?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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